Cover image for Live in '62
Live in '62
Basie, Count, 1904-1984.
Personal Author:
[DVD version].
Publication Information:
[United States] : Reelin' in the years, [2006]

Physical Description:
1 videodisc (approximately 56 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet (16 pages).
Features one of the greatest big band orchestras captured at the height of their considerable powers. This recently discovered concert is the earliest known complete concert of Count Basie and his orchestra released on DVD.
General Note:
Title from container.

Special features: Booklet featuring: liner notes by Chris Sheridan; rare photographs; memorablilia collage.
Songs: Easin' it -- You are too beautiful -- Corner pocket -- Stella by starlight -- Back to the apple -- I needs to be bee'd with -- I got rhythm -- Back water blues -- Alexander's ragtime band -- Old man river -- One O'clock jump
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
M1366 .B375 2006V Adult DVD Central Library

On Order



The concert captured on William "Count" Basie's entry in the "must-own" audio/video Jazz Icons series comes from the vaults of SVT (aka Swedish Television). Modern eyes and ears are whisked to April 24, 1962, with Basie conducting his Atomic-era orchestra, the name having been derived from the memorable A-bomb image on the cover of the 1955 Basie LP. On this evening, a star-studded aggregate joins the bandleader. The participants include Marshall Royal (alto sax), Frank Wess (alto/tenor sax), Eric Dixon (tenor sax), Frank Foster (tenor sax), Charlie Fowlkes (baritone sax), Al Aarons (trumpet), Sonny Cohn (trumpet), Thad Jones (trumpet), Snooky Young (trumpet), Henry Coker (trombone), Quentin Jackson (trombone), Benny Powell (trombone), Freddie Green (guitar), Eddie Jones (bass), Sonny Payne (drums), and -- last but certainly far from least -- Irene Reid (vocals). The 50-minute gig gets underway with all of the sublime style and refined swing and precision of the Frank Foster-written and scored Basie band favorite "Easin' It." The small grouping of Basie, Jones, Green, and Payne submit to the full-tilt 13-piece horns as they rip into the arrangement prior to the trombone and the trumpet sections, which display their equally impressive skills. Deserving special mention is Quentin "Butter" Jackson and his talkin' trombone. "Corner Pocket" might have an air of familiarity, as it had been called "Until I Met You" as recently as the previous year when Sarah Vaughan was in the Basie family. The catchy melody supplies a pliable platform for the brass and reeds' musical cat and mouse. Jones, Aarons, and Wess then respectively up the ante with high-energy interjections. Just as easily, Basie brings the ensemble down to a whisper to support Cohn's empathetic leads throughout a dazzling and moody take of "Stella by Starlight." Few performances so aptly display both the might and majesty of the Count Basie Orchestra as they ably support the melody without ever getting in the way of Cohn's leadership. "Back to the Apple" is a Basie crowd-pleaser that harks back to what he referred to as his "Old Testament" unit. The sonic infusion of the Atomic-era incarnation takes the tune to new heights, and nowhere is the arena of showmanship as thoroughly captured. For instance, when the trumpet-line players use their derbies as mutes, it enhances with a visual effect that is unlike anything else happening at the time. Basie and Eddie Jones kick off Quincy Jones' understated and bluesy "I Needs to Be Bee'd With" as the pianist's off-kilter runs suggest those of Thelonious Monk. Again, "Butter" Jackson's trombone antics are priceless. Vocalist Reid is spotlighted by Basie prior to launching into a bebop and improvisation-heavy version of the Gershwin standard "I Got Rhythm." However, she truly steals the scene with her soulful reading of the Bessie Smith classic "Back Water Blues." Her gutsy yet coy irresistibility illuminates the number and, when coupled with her uncanny and remarkable vocal antics, Reid really sets the stage alight -- especially when facing off with Jackson. "Alexander's Ragtime Band" is the last vocal entry, and her penchant for perfect phonetics makes for another sizzler. "Ol' Man River" is taken at such a quick tempo that it is initially unrecognizable. Attention is then given to the irrepressible and animated Sonny Payne. His percussive antics not only predate the Who's Keith Moon by several years, but serve as a prototype for the drummer -- who is typically shoved to the rear of the stage -- as a front-line performer. The concluding Basie original "One O'Clock Jump" is a brief encore of sorts that allows the group a final chance to blow. While it should go without saying, anyone wishing to experience Count Basie & His Orchestra at their collective peak is encouraged to seek out this DVD, as it promises inspiration and influence to all generations of jazz enthusiasts. ~ Lindsay Planer